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Frontier League girls hoops: Knights upend Patriots


SACKETS HARBOR — The name “Spaulding,” is synonymous with Copenhagen athletics.

And sisters Brooke and Maci of the girls basketball team are doing their part to carry on the family legacy this season.

The Spaulding tandem combined for 28 points on Saturday, leading the Golden Knights to a 44-31 Frontier League “D” Division victory over host Sackets Harbor.

“They bring pace, that’s the first thing,” Copenhagen coach Natalie Scott said of the Spaulding sisters, the team’s top two scorers this season.

“They are generally the ones that lead and make sure the ball gets up the court and they get it inside. They have their shots, too. So it’s tough to defend them,” she added.

Copenhagen improved to 8-2 overall, 7-0 league, and increased its divisional winning streak to 16 games, including the postseason. Its last divisional loss came against the Patriots in February 2012.

Maci Spaulding, a freshman who led the way with 18 points, sparked a second-quarter run that put the Golden Knights in control after a shaky start offensively.

She hit 4-of-5 shots during a quick 10-2 Golden Knights run to start the quarter, putting them up 14-7 after scoring just four points in the first. They never relinquished that lead.

“We stepped up on defense to get the ball back when we needed to,” said Brooke Spaulding, a junior who finished with 10 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists.

“Even though our offense wasn’t going our way in the beginning, because we turned our defense around it gave us more opportunity on offense to make something happen.”

Marinda Allen added nine points and 18 rebounds for Copenhagen.

Diana Dotson scored a team-high nine points for Sackets Harbor (4-7, 4-4), which struggled offensively with several key players in foul trouble down the stretch.

“We definitely have to work on the little things,” Sackets Harbor coach Gregg Townsend said. “When you play a good team, every turnover is magnified and every missed free throw is magnified. Those kinds of things, we have to minimize. We have to clean the game up a little bit.”

Copenhagen lost all five starters from last season’s team, which went 11-0 against divisional opponents, to graduation. But Scott substituted in five-player units last year, one consisting of seniors and the other of underclassmen, and believes that prepared this year’s starters.

“They got a lot of experience with each other last year through the whole year,” Scott said. “So it’s kind of just translated and all the summer work that they did, we probably could have stepped on the court the first day and played a game. They just know each other very well at this point.”

Brooke and Maci Spaulding lead Copenhagen with averages of 12.1 and 10.3 points per game, respectively.

The siblings said that playing ball together often during their childhood molded their style of play.

“That’s how we learned to play, to look for each other. And that helps us look for our other teammates as well because they all run the court with us,” Brooke Spaulding said.

Both said that watching their relatives excel in various sports helped them feel comfortable stepping into the spotlight.

“I think watching them as we grew up really helps us see the idea of the game, and growing up with them playing was a great experience,” Maci Spaulding said.

Brooke Spaulding added: “It gives us more opportunity to build our confidence in playing as well, because we have so many older cousins and brothers and sisters before us that have played, it helps us feel stronger and more confident in controlling the game.”

Copenhagen and Sackets Harbor are scheduled to play again on Thursday.

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